Boiling water has always been the first cooking skill you learn in the kitchen because it’s the easiest thing to do. Well, now it’s even easier with an electric tea kettle. But that’s not all an electric tea kettle can do.
Save Time and Electricity
Did you know that many electric tea kettles have up to a 1500-watt heating element that can boil water faster than a stove or even the microwave oven? In my at-home test, the stovetop tea kettle, filled with just five cups of water (about halfway) took five full minutes to boil both on the electric stove set at “high”and in the microwave in a Pyrex glass bowl, whereas my electric tea kettle boiled that amount in under two minutes.
What about boiling one mug of water in the microwave? It still takes a little over one minute in the microwave, while the electric tea kettle boiled that small amount in about 50 seconds, without the risk of burning my mouth on the mug!
“The electric tea kettle uses less electricity for those looking to reduce their carbon foot print and definitely saves time,” says Culinary Cure owner Kristen Coffield, who helps people make small changes in the way they shop, cook, eat to reach their health goals, and improve their lives.
Makes a Better Cup of Tea
When it comes to brewing tea, Coffield says, “Even before the electric tea kettle, I’ve always been careful not to let the water come to a rolling boil because it changes the taste of the water and affects how specific tea leaves brew best.”
If you like to drink different types of teas or delicate mixtures of tea leaves such as green tea, white tea, and oolong teas, look for a variable temperature electric tea kettle for the different types of tea, which brew optimally in water below the boiling point. It can even be used for making French press coffee.
Many electric tea kettles with an internal basket are perfect for brewing loose tea leaves, which is especially fun if you like to create your own tea mixtures and make more than one or two cups at a time (such as for making iced tea for drinking throughout the day). Just be sure to empty the basket once your tea has steeped to your taste so tea does not continue to steep.
Safer for Children
The thought of little hands reaching up to do anything containing boiling liquids on the stove or with the microwave is nerve-wracking. If you have little ones running around, check for a plastic electric tea kettle with stay-cool handles and exterior. The glass type (which is fun to watch) and many stainless steel electric tea kettles can get very hot, so check features carefully before buying and do a test-run at home before allowing kids near it.
Also, check for an automatic shut-off feature, which most electric tea kettles do have. Keep the unit filled with water so kids can press the button themselves when they want to have hot chocolate or soups that require hot water.
Uses for Other Kitchen and Home Chores
If you’ve ever been in a place where there’s a boil-water advisory, which happened most recently in my neighborhood this March, you’d be lucky to have your electric tea kettle handy, says Coffield. But once you have an electric tea kettle, you’ll find lots of uses for boiling water that you just didn’t do often before, because waiting for the tea kettle to boil was too annoying, hot or time-consuming, such as boiling water for:
- making soups or even pasta water in half the time
- reconstituting dried mushrooms or plumping raisins for recipes
- clearing a stuffy nose or a creating a steam facial over a bowl
- killing weeds in cement cracks outside the house
- sterilizing or cleaning anything (hair brushes, toothbrushes, your diamond engagement ring, earrings, retainers, to name a few)
- clearing drains or soaking pots and pans with baking soda
Traditionally, the electric kettle is a British item, but one worth borrowing in your American kitchen!